Terraria: Hellstone & Obsidian
Mining Obsidian and Hellstone Bars for Crafting
Mining Hellstone with only an Obsidian Skull can be tedious. The potion makes things much faster. You can do it without either of them, but it’s a time-consuming process.
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One of the key aspects of preparing to go to Hard Mode is the defeat of the Wall of Flesh. However, there is an important thing that should be done beforehand that is required to move forward in Hard Mode after its defeat: the collection of Hellstone to allow for the crafting of a Molten Pickaxe. It (or, for PC players, the Reaver Shark, fished from the Ocean) is required for mining Hard Mode ores.
Moreover, the Defense boost from Molten Armor is worth it regardless of your playstyle and will protect you until you can make a better set. This guide will teach you how to deal with Lava in the Underworld in Terraria and get at the Hellstone so you can craft that, along with the Molten Armor set, Fiery Greatsword, the Molten Fury (Bow) and Imp Staff (Summoning Item).
Hellstone mining requires the pickaxe you get from killing Brain of Cthulhu or Eater of Worlds and using those materials – Nightmare or Deathbringer, but you’re not ready for this adventure until you’ve done that anyway so it’s a non-issue for most players. There is but one problem – Hellstone is hot. It gushes lava when extracted, and merely touching the unmined stone will cause damage to your character. There are two ways to mitigate this problem: The Obsidian Skull or using Obsidian Skin Potions. Both of these require you to do some extra work in obtaining Obsidian. You’re going to need it anyway. Turning Hellstone ore into Hellstone Bars requires 1 Obsidian and 3 Hellstone. Since a Molten Pickaxe takes 20 Hellstone bars, you need a minimum of 20 Obsidian and 60 Hellstone.
Obsidian does not often exist naturally in-game. You must produce it by making water meet with lava. This must happen above the Underworld, because water will vaporize there. Instead, we will do this at the bottom of the cavern layer, where lava first begins to appear.
I’ve drained a pool of water and it gushes down a set path, carefully planned so that it will reach the lava
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I did this in the Jungle, but lava appears across the entire bottom of the Caverns layer. The fastest way to do this is to simply cause water to flood into the lava, though you can craft buckets with iron or lead bars. Use the empty buckets on a pool of water, and you’ll get water buckets. Pour these into lava and it will turn to Obsidian. If you do it on a slope, more water will come out of the bucket than you originally harvested, due to the way liquids behave in Terraria. The longer the slope, the more it will produce. You may even be able to recollect this, dump it down again and continue doing so. After trying it, I’d recommend at least 10 buckets to make it less tedious. You can read about the mechanics of this A large mass of water has been routed to lava. I’d have needed hundreds of buckets of water to do this otherwise.
My preferred way is more entertaining. Look for a medium-large pool of lava and you’ll have enough Obsidian to do everything you need. Locate a decent-sized pool of water above it and do a little thinking. Place a couple of blocks here and there to block areas it might run off and ensure that when the water drains, it will flow into the lava. Then simply knock a hole in the bottom of the pond and the water will cascade down toward the lava.
The Obsidian forms instantly as the water and lava touch, allowing me to mine it continuously from one spot.
As each block of water touches lava, it instantly turns into obsidian. This means it’s safe (generally) to stand on top of the obsidian and mine it without fear of getting burned to death. You may flood it to the point that you have to come up for air multiple times, but keep at it and you can come out with over 1,000 Obsidian – more than enough to craft everything you need and even do some building with Obsidian.
Obsidian Skull and Shield
Obsidian can help protect a character from lava in two ways, as I previously mentioned. You can craft an Obsidian Skull using 20 Obsidian, and it will stop the damage you take while standing next to or on Hellstone, though it will do nothing about lava. This item can be combined with the Cobalt Shield that is found within Dungeon gold locked chests to make the Obsidian Shield, providing defense, while protecting against knockback and Meteorite/Hellstone contact damage. That is great, and it makes getting Hellstone much easier with a bit of caution, you just have to make drains for the lava that comes out and plan for where that will go as you mine it. That’s not ideal.
Obsidian Skin Potions
Even better is an Obsidian Skin potion. It’s possible to get 2-300 Obsidian in the 4 minutes it lasts. Here’s what we need to make it, and where to get those ingredients:
- Bottle of Water – See my intro to Potions
- Waterleaf – Harvest this in the desert. You can find it in bloom during rain and gather seeds to make a garden.
- Fireblossom – This is found on Ash blocks in the Underworld. On PC, it blooms in the afternoon. Console/mobile may have to submerge it in lava. Regardless, you can gather enough by searching the Underworld in order to make potions, while mapping it out and finding other useful things.
- Obsidian – One per Obsidian Skin Potion.
The potion lasts 4 minutes as I said. It completely protects you against the damage of lava and allows you to breathe in it.
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There are other means of reducing the damage taken from lava, which can make acquiring Hellstone much easier. Thanks to some kind Redditors who pointed these out to me:
- Lava Charm – allows you 7 seconds inside Lava without damage. You may find this in a chest in the Cavern layer.
- Water Walking Potions – Made with Waterleaf and Shark fins, this actually allows you to walk on Lava, meaning you can get at the bits on top of the Lava.
- Obsidian Rose – This is an excellent item for helping with the process. It reduces damage taken from Lava by 30. It won’t let you dive in it, but helps you avoid accidental death.
I’ve found 2-300 Hellstone per Obsidian Skin Potion, so the most you require to make all gear is 2-3 potions.
If you like, you can take the waterleaf, obsidian, bottled water, an empty bottle, and a workbench with you to the Underworld so that when you get the fireblossom you can simply place the empty bottle on the table to allow you to make the Obsidian Skin Potions without going back. I make a Hellevator, one long shaft with rope that allows me to travel back and forth between the surface and Underworld. In my latest game, I made three trips before taking on the Wall of Flesh.
Something that can help you with your hunt for masses of Hellstone is the Dangersense Potion. It is crafted with 10 cobwebs, 1 shiverthorn, and 1 bottled water. Whether you have this or not, look for an area that obviously has a large amount of Hellstone, and that is usually toward the bottom of the map (you get an achievement for going all the way to the bottom of the screen). You can dig your way down, then pop the Obsidian Skin Potion and go to town. Get to safety and drink a second, and you can get 5-600 Hellstone for crafting literally every Hellstone item and even have enough ore left over for some arrows.
While you do this, you’ll get lots of Ash. You can use this to make a platform across a large section of the zone from which to fight the Wall of Flesh. The reasoning for using ash is that Fireblossom will naturally spawn on it while in the underworld, and later you can come back to get more for other potions.
Crafting Hellstone Gear
It is worth noting that Hellstone and Obsidian require a Hellforge to smelt the ore to bars. You can do this while in the Underworld, or use a Pickaxe and mine the Hellforge to take it back to your base. You’ll need a normal Iron/Lead Anvil in order to craft with it.
This gear is powerful enough that with preparation, the battle with the Wall of Flesh and the transition to Hard Mode is trivial.